Sell, Sell, Sell

As you probably know, you're not the only one who's selling a home in your community. But did you know that some 100,000 people join you each week? With those kinds of numbers, it's easy to see that competition is pretty fierce. So, the better prepared you are, the better your experience will be, and the better (and faster) outcome you can expect.

Once you've decided to sell, you'll be thinking about a whole host of details, like how to get your home ready for sale, when to put it on the market, and how much to ask for it. A Real Living listing agent can help you with all that and more.

Meanwhile, here are recommended steps that will help ensure your home sells fast and for top dollar.

1. Make a Good First Impression.

An attractive, well-maintained home will generally sell faster and for a higher price than a similar home that looks drab or run-down. When you prepare your home for sale, take a critical look inside and out. If you're having trouble being objective, a neighbor or a friend to help. Watch for places and things you can clean up, repair or replace.

2. Know the Market.

Your home will be competing with similar homes for sale in and around your neighborhood, so it's a good idea to know which homes are on the market and what their asking prices are. Take a leisurely walk or drive through the area to look for signs, check local newspaper and Internet listings, and make sure you ask your Sales Representative for a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA), which includes information on area homes for sale. All of this will help you when you work with your agent to determine the fair market value of your own home.

3. Price Your Home Correctly.

Pricing your home too high can discourage offers from serious buyers. On the other hand, pricing your home too low won't leave you much room to negotiate. And most homes sell at fair market value - not above it. That's why intelligent pricing is so important. Work with me to determine the best price for your home.

4. Make Sure Your Home is Marketed Effectively.

It's tough to sell your home if no one knows it's for sale. I can create maximum exposure for your home using our Web site, direct mail, home books and other marketing tools. This unique combination of services means your home is actively marketed every single day until it's sold. That's our service guarantee.

5. Prepare for Showings and Open Houses.

Showings and Open Houses let potential buyers personally tour your home to see if it fits their lifestyle. Your goal should be to create an environment where potential buyers can visualize how the space will fit them. This includes removing items from your kitchen counters and arranging your furniture to create a simple, spacious appearance, so it's easier for buyers to see themselves living there.

6. Negotiate the Terms of the Sale.

Buyers and sellers usually expect to negotiate the price and terms of a home sale. You can speed up this process if you evaluate and respond to offers and counteroffers in a timely fashion. Don't worry if you're not personally comfortable negotiating; I have great experience and will help you through this process by handling all negotiations.

7. Review the Home Inspector's Findings.

Most buyers will request a home inspection before completing the sale. Once they have the inspection results, many buyers request certain repairs. As the seller, you should receive a written copy of the inspection report. Be sure to review it carefully so you understand the nature and extent of any problems and repairs a buyer may request. Your Sales Representative should help you respond to the inspection, clearly stating what you will take care of, how and when.

8. Sign the Agreement of Purchase and Sale.

Once you reach an understanding with the buyer, it's time to sign the Agreement of Purchase and Sale. The Agreement of Purchase and Sale will specify the terms and conditions to which you have agreed.

9. Prepare for Closing.

The closing process involves an attorney or title company representative, the buyer, listing and selling brokers, and oftentimes you, the seller. This important meeting will include the final transaction, which is transferring the home from your possession to the new owner. Make sure you bring all equipment warranties, instructions, and maintenance or operation information to hand over to the new owners.